Sermon outline for Sunday, August 15, 2010

I have had the opportunity to work into the preaching rotation at CTCOC, and I enjoy the opportunity, and challenge of sharing from the Word of God with the church any time! We have, as a congregation, been considering the joy of living and leading like Jesus. The last several weeks we have begun talking about leadership, and specifically looking at the book of Nehemiah. Here is my lesson outline for this Sunday morning:

The Joy of Living and Leading Like Jesus                                           Nehemiah 5:1-19

“Good Leaders Do The Right Thing”’

There are some great leadership lessons to be learned from the book of Nehemiah

  • Great timeless truths that inspire, prepare, and enrich our lives

Good leaders are plugged in (Neh. 5:1-6)

  • There was a food shortage (5:2)
  • Others were mortgaging their fields, vineyards and homes to get food (5:3)
  • Others were having to borrow money to pay the king’s tax ( going into debt)
  • Because of the financial crisis, some of them and their children had been sold into slavery to their own people (5:5)

Good leaders are passionate about justice

  • Nehemiah confronts the issues (5:9)
    • Lending with usury, making their own flesh and blood slaves
    • A growing power base of wealthy nobles: haves and have nots
  • Nehemiah is concerned about the poor
  • Good leader’s take a stand on the Word of God
    • Deut. 15:7-11, 34:17-22; Lev. 25:39-43; Ex. 22:25-27; Matt. 22:37-40
    • Nehemiah knew how God felt because he knew the Word of God

Good leaders provide the right example

  • They talk the talk and walk the walk (5:9-10)
  • They hold their followers accountable (5:12)
  • They live sacrificially (5:14-18)

Good leaders are people of prayer (5:19)

  • About 11 or 12 times through Nehemiah we read about him praying (1:4-11, 2:4, 4:4-5; 5:19, 6:9, 6:14, 9:5-37, 10:28-39,13:14, 22, 29, 31)
    • He was dependent on God
    • He was man of action
      • Purposeful, prayerful and persistent action

Good leaders are persistent (5:16)

  • Nehemiah’s heart was the walls around Jerusalem
  • He was devoted to his calling/work/mission
  • He wasn’t afraid to get dirty
  • He was focused, in the face of tension he didn’t lose sight of the big picture

In our time through Nehemiah so far, who do you identify with most? (Nehemiah, Sanballat, the wall builders, or the nobles?)


Nehemiah is concerned for his people, specifically the poor or the marginalized in this chapter. Sunday night, I’m going talk a little more about justice. I am fascinated by the topic of “social justice,” and the Biblical emphasis of justice for the oppressed as well. I know that Glen Beck recently trashed social justice as some leftist plot, and advised good Christian people to turn a blind eye to justice. But, Mr. Beck, you and I aren’t reading from the same Bible. Here is just a sample of the motif of justice throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament:

  • Law of Moses:  Ex 23:6-9; Lev 19:9-10; 23:22; Dt 15:4-11; 24:17-22
  • Psalms: 14:6; 34:6; 35:10; 40:17; 68:10; 82:3; 112:9; 113:7; 140:12
  • Wisdom literature:  Prov 14:31; 17:5; 19:17; 21:13; 22:9; 22:22-23; 29:7; 31:8-9, 20
  • Prophets:
    • Isa 3:14-15; 10: 1-2; 14:30; 25:4; 32:6-7; 61:1-2
    • Jer 22:15-17
    • Ezek 18:12
    • Amos 2:6-7; 5:11-12, 24; 8:4-7
    • Zech 7:8-10
  • Jesus: Luke 1:51-52; 2:24; 3:11-14; 4:18-19; 6:20-26; 7:11-17; 12:13-21; 15:12-14; 16:1-31; 18:18-30; 19:1-27: 21:1-4
  • The church:  Acts 2:44-3:10; 4:32-5:11; Rom 15:25-27; 1 Cor 16:1-4; 2 Cor 8-9; Gal 2:10; James 1:9-11, 27; 2:1-7; 5:1-9*

The bottom line is: the church is called to fill the Deuteronomic idea of no poverty in the new people of God! God’s people are to be open-handed, and concerned about what God is concerned about. In the prophets, God rails against formalistic religious practices because his people were mistreating the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, and the down and out.

The church can no longer turn a blind-eye to the needs present in our communities, and our own communities of faith.


* handout from BIB. 6305, The Gospel of Mark, lecture notes from Dr. Michael Martin, Lubbock Christian University

About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
This entry was posted in church, Leadership, Old Testament, sermons, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

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